Penn National releases plan for $807m casino in downtown Springfield

An artist’s depiction of the casino proposed by Penn National Gaming for Springfield.
An artist’s depiction of the casino proposed by Penn National Gaming for Springfield.Credit: Penn National Gaming

Penn National Gaming this morning released details of the company's proposed $807 million casino and entertainment complex in Springfield, becoming the second major casino firm to outline its plans for the city.

“Our proposed $807 million destination casino resort will be the centerpiece of a revitalization of the city and bring thousands of new permanent jobs, significant union construction jobs, and millions of tax dollars to the region,’’ company chairman Peter Carlino said in a statement.

Penn, in partnership with Peter Picknelly, operator of Peter Pan Bus Lines, plans to build on 13.4 acres near the city’s downtown.

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“Penn National Gaming shares our vision, our values, and has a terrific record of partnering with local communities in the development and operation of urban casinos,” Picknelly said in the same statement. “We’re looking forward to a constructive dialogue about our proposal with Mayor [Domenic] Sarno, the Springfield community, and state gaming commission.”

Penn National’s proposal calls for 3,000 to 3,500 slot machines, poker rooms, up to 100 live table games, and a hotel with up to 500 rooms. The plan also calls for the creation of new restaurant areas, a 5,000-space parking garage, and up to 45,000 square feet of meeting and convention space.

Penn National is promising to “incorporate elements of Springfield’s existing architecture into the design of the facility to ensure that Hollywood Casino Springfield fits seamlessly into the downtown area.’’

The plan calls for relocating The Republican newspaper from its current site on Main Street.

Penn will be competing in the city with a project proposed by MGM Resorts in the city’s South End.

Ameristar is expected to propose a casino project on the city’s east side, and Hard Rock International has also expressed interest in Springfield.

Mayor Sarno has put forth a plan for the companies to compete for the right to negotiate with the city over an agreement to host a casino.

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